Dan Feldman

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 26:  Brandon Knight #11 of the Phoenix Suns  loses the ball as he attemtps a shot against DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 26, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Kings defeated the Suns 113-94.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Report: Kings and Suns have long discussed Brandon Knight trade

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With Darren Collison suspended and Ty Lawson their only other player at the position, the Kings were desperate for a point guard to begin the season.

They have been linked to Michael Carter-Williams, Cameron Payne and Goran Dragic.

Another player on the radar? The Suns’ Brandon Knight.

Brian Windhorst on The Lowe Post podcast:

It’s hard to read Sacramento. Sacramento talks a lot then never does anything. So, Sacramento is very frustrating to people. But I know that Sacramento has been to talking to Phoenix about Brandon Knight since the summer. Will that ultimately get done? I don’t know.

Collison has been solid since returning, and Lawson has thrived lately. On one hand, those two might be good enough. On the other hand, suddenly in the thick of a playoff race, the Kings have more incentive to upgrade.

I’m just not sure Knight is that upgrade. He has struggled coming off the bench for the Suns, and his court vision as a lead guard always left plenty to be desired. Maybe he could be a combo guard in Sacramento, but Knight hasn’t been good enough this year to do more than further crowd a Kings backcourt that already has Garrett Temple in that role.

If Sacramento and Phoenix have talked this long about a trade, maybe there’s traction. The ability to deal recently signed players Dec. 15 could open doors.

Lakers F Larry Nance Jr. out 4 weeks with bone bruise

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 20:  Larry Nance Jr. #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers is carried off the floor after an injury against the Charlotte Hornets during their game at Spectrum Center on December 20, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. will be out for approximately four weeks with a bone bruise in his left knee.

The Lakers announced the diagnosis Sunday night.

Nance was hurt during the Lakers’ loss at Charlotte on Dec. 20 and was re-examined by team doctors Sunday.

The second-year pro is a key reserve for Los Angeles, averaging 7.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

Nance became the latest Lakers regular with a long-term injury diagnosis on the same night that Tarik Black and Jose Calderon returned to uniform for a game against the Clippers. Black had missed nine of the previous 10 games with a sprained right ankle, while Calderon had missed 11 games with a right hamstring strain.

Report: Guests at LeBron James’ Halloween party had to walk over Stephen Curry dummy to enter

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LeBron James‘ Halloween party featured Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson tombstone cookies and a “3-1 Lead” drum for a skeleton band.

But those apparently weren’t even the most outrageous props.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

Back in October, at James’ Halloween party that made headlines for its mock tombstones that memorialized the Warriors’ lost 3-1 Finals lead, sources told ESPN.com there was even a dummy dressed up like Curry on the floor of the haunted house that guests had no choice but to walk over when they arrived to get to the party.

In his last eight games against the Cavaliers – seven in the 2016 NBA Finals and yesterday’s Christmas contest – Curry has both scored 20 points and won only once. He’s shooting well below his career marks inside and outside the arc and has more turnovers than assists in those games.

If he doesn’t want the Cavs to walk over his likeness, the best thing he can do is stop letting them walk over him on the court. (At least by his MVP standards. For most players, he’s still excelling against Cleveland.)

George Karl: NBA has steroid issue

George Karl
AP Photo/Matt York
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How seriously are steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs treated in the NBA?

On one hand, the league introduced blood testing. On the other hand, the overwhelming narrative about the only recent suspension for steroids was that the player mistakenly took a banned substance while trying to reverse his balding.

The rhetoric and policies suggest due diligence. A lack of suspensions says either the league is relatively clean – or that a problem is being swept under the rug.

Former Kings/Nuggets/Bucks/Sonics/Warriors/Cavaliers coach George Karl says it’s the latter.

Karl in “Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection:”

We’ve got a more thorough drug-testing program than the NFL or MLB, which we always brag about. But we’ve still got a drug issue, though a different one than thirty years ago. And this one bothers me more than the dumbasses who got in trouble with recreational drugs.

I’m talking about performance-enhancing drugs—like steroids, human growth hormone, and so on. It’s obvious some of our players are doping. How are some guys getting older—yet thinner and fitter? How are they recovering from injuries so fast? Why the hell are they going to Germany in the off-season? I doubt it’s for the sauerkraut.

More likely it’s for the newest, hard-to-detect blood boosters and PEDs they have in Europe. Unfortunately, drug testing always seems to be a couple steps behind drug hiding. Lance Armstrong never failed a drug test. I think we want the best athletes to succeed, not the biggest, richest cheaters employing the best scientists. But I don’t know what to do about it.

I don’t know whether Karl has specific insights into a problem. His lengthy coaching career certainly positioned him to have inside information. But he could also be supposing based on the circumstantial evidence presented here.

Either way, I suspect he’s right. We marvel at the athleticism and longevity of NBA players the same way we celebrated the uptick of home runs in the 1990s – with too much awe and not enough skepticism. So much of the lack of suspicion into NBA steroids use is based on the long-standing idea that the drugs wouldn’t help fluid athletes like basketball players. But the prevailing opinion used to be that only hitters, not pitchers, benefited from steroids. Then, a ton of pitchers tested positive. Steroids ran far deeper in baseball than many imagined, and I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if the same is true in basketball. To be clear, I have no specific knowledge of wider steroid use in the NBA. Just a hunch.

Does Karl have more? He at least appears to take a specific shot.

By mentioning Germany, is Karl implying Kobe Bryant, who was well known for his offseason trips to Germany? Karl never mentions Kobe, and before you think there’s specific reason to accuse Kobe, consider that Kobe played for Phil Jackson – Karl’s longtime coaching rival. It’s often too personal with Karl.

Sometimes, though, he’s right.

Disclosure: I received a promotional copy of “Furious George.”

Brandon Bass spins by D’Angelo Russell, dunks on Timofey Mozgov (video)

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Brandon Bass quietly had a very nice year for the Lakers last season, playing plenty of center. In the offseason, the Lakers replaced him with the highly paid Timofey Mozgov, and Bass signed a minimum contract with the Clippers.

Bass couldn’t get a win over his old team, but at least he posterized Mozgov.